Does Nitric Oxide Gas Treatment Help Prevent Birth Injuries?

If you are a parent, you understand how complicated the birth process can be. Many parents will tell you that nothing they did could fully prepare them for childbirth. Having a child should be one of the best moments of a person’s life. Unfortunately, complications can arise because of hospital staff negligence, permanently harming the baby.

Many hospitals take precautions to prevent the chance of a birth injury and other personal injury. One such practice is exposing premature infants to nitric oxide gas that is believed to prevent lung problems and even brain damage. But now a recent study by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is arguing that this practice does not actually benefit premature babies.

The study is not implying that the practice of using nitric oxide should never be used; the study simply states that physicians should carefully assess each case separately when it comes to premature babies. In some situations, exposure to the gas can help decrease the risk of death and lung disease in babies.

There were 22 studies done that involved premature babies. The results showed that most premature infants did not benefit from the nitric oxide gas treatment.

When comparing premature babies that were treated with nitric oxide gas against those who did not receive the treatment, the research generally shows:

  • No difference in death rates
  • Very little difference in the risk for developing chronic lung disease
  • No difference in the risk of neurological damage and impairment, such ascerebral palsy

Again, the research does not imply that physicians and hospitals should never use nitric oxide to treat babies. It is merely pointing out that the gas may not be effective in certain cases.

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